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New oceanographic models for ocean analysis and forecasting

Pierre Bahurel and his team from Mercator Ocean in France have, together with ESEOO in Spain, developed new oceanographic models that will help us to understand the evolution of the climate over the last decades and to provide an ocean analysis and forecasting service on a daily basis.

Ocean is an integral part of our environment, upon which many depend for survival, and it is a basic element of the Earth’s climate. It is also an important site of transit for both goods and people. Therefore, understanding both the state of the ocean and the ways in which it might change is crucial.

Pierre Bahurel and his team from Mercator Ocean in France have, together with ESEOO in Spain, developed a global eddy-permitting model which allows a realistic representation of the main ocean currents.

They have also been able to study for the first time the coupling between sea ice and a global eddy-permitting ocean. Understanding this coupling is essential to efforts to realistically simulate circulation in the high latitude ocean, which has consequences for large-scale ocean circulation and deep water formation.

Achievements have also been made at a more regional level, especially in the North Atlantic area. The research group has managed to represent correctly the Gulf Stream pathway and in particular the separation of the current from the coast at Cap Haterras to become a zonal jet in the Atlantic.

A supercomputing infrastructure is essential for oceanographic modelling in order to generate ever more realistic simulations of the ocean’s behavior. Computation capacities provided by DEISA (Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Appications) have enabled research group to carry out interannual simulations, which are crucial for testing the validity of the models, for setting up systems of operational oceanic forecasting, and for deepening the understanding of the ocean more generally.

More information on Pierre Bahurel’s research available at

Saara Vaerttoe | alfa
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